Despite exuberance from the wireless service providers, it appears channel checks from Germany’s GfK, Germany’s largest market research institute, show things for the iPhone7 are not as great as the carriers would like the world to believe.According to a GfK note, AAPL iPhone units shows that launch weekend sales for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were down by ~25% Y/Y compared to the first weekend of the 6S and 6Plus.
The last time GfK spoiled the AAPL party was a year ago, when the Germany company likewise revealed that Channel checks for the iPhone were far weaker than Tim Cook represented at the time.
The drop has also been partially attributed to an earlier report in Digitimes, which however hit around 4am Eastern, according to which Chip orders placed for the iPhone 7/7 Plus will likely fall about 20% sequentially in the first quarter of 2017. Apple has requested its manufacturing partners stock ICs for a combined 50 million iPhone 7/7 Plus units in the third quarter of 2016, and another 45 million units in the fourth quarter. The estimated volume for the first quarter of 2017 has reduced to 35-37 million units, said the sources.
According to Digitimes, previous reports quoted industry sources saying chip orders placed for the iPhone 7/7 Plus thus far for 2016 have been higher than previously estimated. In fact, Apple has set a goal of having its manufacturing partners make nearly 100 million iPhone 7/7 Plus devices by the end of 2016, higher than its suppliers’ earlier prediction of 80-85 million units.
Perhaps it’s time for AAPL to sell some more bonds and buyback some more stocks.